Choosing the Right International Journal in TESOL and Applied Linguistics

by Willy A Renandya,
National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Abstract
Choosing the right international journal for your research paper can be a daunting task and the process may seem complicated. This is particularly so if you have had little or no experience publishing in an international journal. This paper provides practical guidelines that could help novice writers find answers to questions such as these: What types of journals are available in the field of TESOL and Applied Linguistics? Which types of journals are the most suitable for their papers? What are some of the key criteria that institutions use to assess the quality of a journal? What is the review process like? How long is the wait time? What is the rejection rate of the journal? Are there journals that have lower rejection rates for novice writers? The paper also lists a number of journals that novice writers could aim for in order to increase the acceptance rates of their submissions.


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Get the Picture: Teaching with Multimodal Texts

by Philip McConnell
English Language Institute of Singapore

Abstract
Our students encounter many texts in their daily lives which combine linguistic, auditory and visual modes of representation. Such rich, multimodal texts can serve in the classroom as authentic and engaging materials that allow learners at any level to explore how meaning is created. They can also be used as the basis for many kinds of learning activities, providing additional means of engagement for teachers to help students develop skills for critical thinking, speaking and listening. Furthermore, these texts might be used to give students the opportunity to interact more effectively in different contexts for a variety of audiences and purposes. This paper offers a research-based rationale for teaching with multimodal texts. It also gives examples of multimodal texts and a set of strategies for the English classroom which are intended to enrich the experience of learning.


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Second Language Teacher Contributions to Student Classroom Participation: A Narrative Study of Indonesian Learners

by Nugrahenny T. Zacharias
Satya Wacana Christian University, Indonesia

Abstract 
One major factor determining student classroom participation is the classroom teachers because they are the ones who control the turn-taking in the classroom. Despite the significant role of classroom teachers, to date there is a lack of studies focusing on the role of classroom teachers in specific EFL contexts such as those in Indonesia. The purpose of the present study is to explore how teacher talk contributes to student classroom participation patterns. Data was collected through 85 student narratives written as part of a Cross Cultural Understanding (CCU) course assessment in an English teacher preparation program in a private university in Indonesia. From the student narratives, the factors related to teacher talk cited as contributing to student classroom participation were teachers’ lecturing styles, teachers’ lack of modified input, unfavorable past teacher feedback and teachers’ pedagogical stories. The study points to the critical role of teacher talk in shaping student classroom participation patterns.


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Emotionality and Language Learning: Forging Bonds by Sharing Emotions

by Toshinobu Nagamine
Kumamoto University, Japan

Introductory remarks
Properly speaking, “language learning” refers not only to the cognitive activity that takes place in the mind of the student but also to a physical activity accompanied by a range of emotions (such as frustration, unease, worry, disappointment, excitement, etc.) (Imai, 2010). Students will experience a range of emotions while engaging in verbal and non-verbal communication with other students, particularly in classes in which cooperative learning activities such as pair work or group work are frequently used. While students’ emotions have not been ignored per se, many researchers in the fields of second-language acquisition and applied linguistics have nevertheless treated the matter as unimportant (cf. Hanauer, 2012). This disregard of students’ emotions suggests that students are perceived by many researchers as impersonal, computer-like cognitive entities.


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Bonding In and Beyond the Classroom: A Teaching and Learning Journey

by Brad Blackstone
Centre for English Language Communication
National University of Singapore

Introduction
In The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life, a work that many educators consider classic because of the way it positions teaching excellence not as a fixed point on some methodological map but as the ‘nexus’ between a teacher’s identity and integrity, Parker Palmer writes that

“… if we want to grow as teachers, we must do something alien to academic culture: We must talk to each other about our inner lives, risky stuff in a profession that fears the personal and seeks safety in the technical, the distant, the abstract” (1998, p. 12).

The following narrative attempts exactly that, presenting a reflection on my own 30 plus years in classrooms around the globe, at the same time considering those influences I have found essential in helping me facilitate the sort of student development and interpersonal bonding that might underpin not just significant learning but also more meaningful communication.


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Learning With and From Peers

by Julia Eka Rini
Petra Christian University, Indonesia

Introduction
In the Cambridge Online Dictionary, a ‘bond’ is defined as a close connection joining two or more people. Many would argue that students can learn better when their teacher and classmates support them; therefore, bonding should be created between the teacher and the students and also among students.

Bonding can be created through telling humorous stories, having motivating sessions, encouraging student sharing, and applying the principle that teaching is also learning. I usually use these approaches in the English Department when I teach undergraduate students in courses such as the speaking classes or the seminar class for the undergraduate thesis.


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Student Bonding as Community-Building

by James E Martin
Centre for English Communication
Singapore Management University

Introductory remarks
The concept of student bonding is likely to be supported by most teachers. It is quite clear that student attitudes influence learning, and bonding is often seen as a way to help create a positive atmosphere that will promote participation in class (i.e., making students more comfortable in the often “socially risky” environment of the English language classroom). For this purpose and to maximize bonding, cooperative language learning techniques, for example, have sometimes been used (see, e.g., Wichadee & Orawiwatnakul, 2012).

In this article, however, I will focus my discussion on a related but somewhat different rationale for bonding and offer some activities to promote it in the particular environment of a university writing class.


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Bonding for Learning

by Wong Jock Onn
Centre for English Language Communication
National University of Singapore

Introductory remarks
My experience as an English teacher tells me that interactive group learning is something to be encouraged in a language classroom, more so than for other subjects. This is because one of the major functions of language is expressing oneself, and interactive group learning gives students many opportunities to express themselves, opportunities they may not have outside class. Obviously, it does not mean that students cannot learn individually, but interactive group learning comes with a host of specific benefits. Group activities allow students to learn from one another’s strengths and weakness, learn how to express themselves and (more importantly) disagree with others, learn to appreciate diversity of viewpoints, relate to others, build friendship and basically enjoy the learning process. These benefits are important, especially in the university context, because the environment tends to be culturally more heterogeneous and communication could be a challenge in such a context. Also, these benefits are associated with skills that are crucial to university students and working adults. This explains why, as a university English teacher, I often implement interactive group activities in class (e.g. open discussion) and out of class (e.g. on FB) (Wong, 2013). I want to reap all these benefits for my students, let them have a good time learning with friends, and simultaneously support them in their preparation for the real world.


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Notes from the Editors

Introduction to bonding
Obviously, human beings are social animals who have the inclination to socialize in any situation that allows it. Even when people who do not speak the same languages live together, they tend to find ways to connect and bond with one another. The existence of pidgin and creole languages, which emerge in such a situation, attests to this human tendency.

Yet, there are situations in which people could benefit from bonding but may be prevented from doing so for various reasons. In a language classroom, for example, it is important for students to bond and feel free to practice using the target among themselves, thus learning from each other. However, they may be afraid to bond because they are shy and are afraid of making mistakes or because they have not been provided with the opportunity to do so. As a result, their progress in the target language may not be maximized because they have not had the chance to practice it enough or to learn from one another. In turn, this may further limit their potential not just to bond but to have a more significant learning experience. The situation leads to a vicious circle.

It seems intuitive that bonding within a language class is important, but while much has been said about theories of learning and classroom pedagogies, ironically the field is rather silent on the topic of bonding. This is not good news.

People may want to learn a language for a host of reasons, but when it comes to English, it seems a truism that most non-native English users want to learn it for economic purposes or for achieving educational goals; for many of these people, English is a survival tool. In such a situation, it is particularly important that English language teaching (ELT) practitioners facilitate meaningful learning in class, and one of the means by which they can do this is to maximize bonding opportunities for learners.

In order to carry this discussion forward, ELTWO has invited ELT practitioners teaching in five Asian countries — China, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore — to share with readers how they help their students bond. In this thematic special issue, these teachers, all long-time educators, share with readers their philosophies, rationales and practices on bonding. The authors were asked to be quite specific in describing what they do, with the idea that this would make it relatively easy for readers to adopt any appropriate methods for their own use.

Many of the contributors share the conviction that bonding can create a class in which ‘no one is a stranger’ and which allows each and every student to ‘learn with and among friends’. The anticipated effects are to enrich the learning experience while maximizing learning. We hope that readers will find this thematic issue on bonding useful.

Brad Blackstone & Jock Wong

Integrating Blog Writing into the Essay Writing Process

by Lee Ming Cherk,
Centre for English Language Communication
National University of Singapore

Abstract
This paper discusses how blogs can enhance the academic writing process and develop students into better writers. The background of this study is an English for Academic Purpose course designed for undergraduates in a Singapore university. The study investigates students’ views about blog writing as a platform for responding to journal articles, and for reviewing peers’ work. It also evaluates the efficacy of online peer feedback.


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